2012 NBA Playoffs, Mavericks Vs. Thunder: Dallas Collapse A 'Shock'

There's certainly an air of confidence about the Oklahoma City Thunder and their fans at the moment, to the point where the Thunders' 3-0 series lead over Dallas is being framed more about how surprisingly bad the defending champs were in Game 3, rather than how efficient OKC seemed in all phases. Just ask SB Nation's Thunder blog Welcome To Loud City:

Shock. Total and utter shock. I had no idea the Mavs, after two incredibly close losses in Oklahoma City, would just collapse in Game 3. And by collapse, I mean collapse. The Mavs never looked like they wanted to win this game. Dirk Nowitzki played a decent enough game, but he was the only Mavs player to do so. Vince Carter kept making dumb moves driving to the rim. Jason Kidd took way more shots than he should have. Marion and Terry were AWOL, and did terrible jobs on their defensive assignments.

One reason for their confidence is the suddenly stout OKC defense that forced Dallas to take uncomfortable shots all night. In other words, the Thunder are look like a well-rounded title team:

None of the Mavericks players were ever able to get on a roll, save for a late first quarter run by Vince Carter. Because the Mavs offense couldn't find a second go-to guy, it was basically forced to work through Kidd and Nowitzki. Dirk's plays got too predictable, and Kidd isn't enough of a scoring threat to be relied upon to draw pressure anymore. You also have to give credit to the defense of Sefolosha and Durant, who contributed significantly to shutting down their assignment.

For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, be sure to check out Welcome To Loud City and SB Nation's NBA page.

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